How Clarissa Found Religion, Part II

On the subject of Christianity’s compatibility with feminism, I can say that this religion is a fantastic vehicle for feminism. Mind you, I’m not suggesting that other religions aren’t. I have no knowledge that would enable me to make that judgment. I also warn you that when I say “religion”, I mean a system of beliefs. The fact that many people choose to do weird things and call that “Christianity” is as relevant to me as the actions of confused folks who call themselves feminists while doing decidedly unfeminist things. So, please, refrain from laying the blame for any horrible things that some churchy people did at my door. Do you think that if some men rape then all men are rapists? No? Then I’m not guilty for anything Rick Santorum has to say.

So why do I say that this is a powerfully feminist religion? Let’s look at a small excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

And there is more in the same vein. Are you seeing any gender divide here? Any suggestion that rules are different for men and women? Of course, you don’t. Because it’s not about that at all.

Then, there is also the famous,

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

No male or female, got it? The message couldn’t be clearer. I don’t even know what else could be said on the subject. In the eyes of God, men and women do not exist. Gender is meaningless and immaterial. That’s precisely the extent of my feminism, too, which is why I read these quotes as the perfect feminist manifesto.

17 thoughts on “How Clarissa Found Religion, Part II

  1. I agree. If you just focus on the words of Jesus, you have a lovely forward thinking, truly liberal philosophy/outlook. I think the anti-feminist parts come more with things like Ephesians like the infamous line “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” So do you see Paul’s letters as perverting Christ’s words? (I actually agree with that….)

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    1. Paul obviously had serious psychological issues. An analyst would have a field day with this guy. 🙂 (I hope people can take a joke on this subject.)

      Jesus’s refusal to see people as men and women was very advanced for his times. It is still too advanced for people today. We cannot expect some random guy 2000 years ago to understand this vision and accept it.

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  2. To clarify up above: I agree that Paul’s letters have nothing to do with Christ. I don’t agree that wives should submit to their husbands! 🙂

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      1. “I cannot imagine people who are into wifely submission to be very interested in my blog” Ha! That’s certainly true! 🙂

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  3. “On the subject of Christianity’s compatibility with feminism, I can say that this religion is a fantastic vehicle for feminism.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    That’s the most ridiculous statement you vomit here! Bible is a utterly patriarchal book, even though you’re right when you say that your excerpt is feminist.

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      1. Okay, so you’re not really Christian. You’re a kinda Jew-pre-Christian hybrid.

        Maybe Jewish is a more feminist religion, in a non-institutional setting, than I thought at a first glance.

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    1. The most cogent critique I know of for those who find the Gospels more palatable than the Epistles comes from Bertrand Russell; one can cut to the chase with ctrl-F or the equivalent to the section under the heading “Defects in Christ’s Teaching”. The whole thing is entertaining throughout, though.

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      1. Bertrand Russell is the closest I have to a personal hero, but he still was caught up in the literalist approach to mythology. This is a serious error, in my opinion. Myth is metaphor, not science. Atheism and monotheism both, to me seem weird. There are many gods and goddesses, and humans create more of them fairly often. Aphrodite, Yemaya, Horus, and Pan exist in the same sense that separable Hilbert spaces or smooth manifolds or tree-like continua exist. Not to mention pseudo-arcs! They are profound creations of the human mind. They can be either useful or not. They are often beautiful. I refuse to let an atheist tell me that I cannot create/discover new topological spaces, which would be equivalent to saying that humans cannot create/discover new deities.

        The question as to what if any underlying “reality” goddesses or gods have, I think is irrelevant, although I have Pagan friends who will say that divinity exists, but we can never know it except through our many personifications. Many people experience them as real, just a many people experience the mathematical objects I listed above as real.

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  4. Yeah! I prayed to saints and Mary and hardly ever talked to the guys… except you know, if you lose something: “Blessed St Anthony, please come around, something is lost and needs to be found”–and he always finds it. (Its his job, after all.)

    Also, you pray to St Joseph for anything house-related, St Thomas More for stepfathers. Etc. Mostly, I went Marion, went to the Marion conferences and read the Marion books. I went a little nuts, in fact. I still love Mary!

    Here is my religious crisis, which is still under way. You see whose in charge!

    http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/2011/10/dead-air-church-deity-meeting-part-one.html

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  5. Traditional Judaism as a religion is not feminist at all. The words attributed to Jesus stand out in the whole Bible (both Old and New Testament); the Bible as we know it is a compilation of books, stanzas, etc. written over a number of centuries. Naturally, there are many contradictions, and much of it is vague, metaphorical and historically relevent.

    I like the Unitarian approach. It existed before the Council of Nicaea and was officially wiped out as heresy. Given the paganistic origins of the notion of a “triune” deity, it doesn’t hold much legitimacy and I am honestly surprised that more Christians don’t attempt to integrate the life and teaching attributed to Jesus into a more purely monotheistic doctrine.

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    1. “Given the paganistic origins of the notion of a “triune” deity, it doesn’t hold much legitimacy and I am honestly surprised that more Christians don’t attempt to integrate the life and teaching attributed to Jesus into a more purely monotheistic doctrine.”

      – I agree completely!

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